Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Paralyzed by Failure…or, Why I Haven’t Made My New Year’s Resolutions Yet April 3, 2014

I failed.

The half marathon I vowed to complete never happened.

Last year, as always, I created a set of resolutions to guide me through the year…pushing myself to be better.  One of the biggies was “run a half marathon”, this despite the fact that I dislike running, AND I had never tried a race!  With determination I set out preparing for said race.  It must be noted that I truly wanted to achieve it.  I downloaded apps, trained with some great running partners, got the shoes and the outfits, followed elaborate schedules, endured ongoing shin splints and other ailments…however by the end of the summer I had to tap out.  Simply put, my body does not want to run distances, despite what my mind is insisting on.  I knew it was the right decision when I announced it to my family.  They all heaved a huge sigh of relief.  I didn’t realize how my running had [negatively] impacted them.

So, while it was the correct decision, I struggled with the conflict of setting a goal and not meeting the goal (or failing?)…the balance of setting a hard goal vs the cost of achieving it (or not).

Denise the trainer

Denise, The Trainer

I reached out to a respected friend who knows a thing or 2 about setting and reaching goals:  my trainer Denise.  Just in case you’ve ever not followed through with a goal and felt bad about it, here are some wise words from Denise on the subject:

In order to reconcile a goal you didn’t complete, you first need to change your perspective and appreciate all of the positive aspects associated with taking a risk, regardless of the outcome.  Instead of putting your focus on the end result, give yourself credit for even setting a goal in the first place.  So many people are afraid to set goals for fear that they might fail.  It takes a great deal of courage to set a goal and try everything in your power to achieve it.

Realize that everyone struggles with goals at one point in time or another.  If you look throughout history you will find that everyone from Albert Einstein to Oprah has failed at times during their lives.  The difference with these successful people is that they have gotten right back up and fought courageously with iron will to improve themselves & come back better and stronger.
No one is perfect and all you can do is try your best and learn from each experience.  With every goal that you fail to succeed at, you begin understanding your strengths and weaknesses and experience invaluable  lessons that you would never have received had you not taken a chance.  These lessons will prepare you for future goals and toughen you up in regards to different outcomes.
So what if one goal doesn’t work out?  Are you going to allow that to defeat you forever?  Failing to complete a goal does not have to be the be-all and end-all of your life.  Start looking at the situation as a new beginning filled with numerous opportunities and you will already be headed down the path to success.  Remember that in the end, it’s the chances that you didn’t take that you will end up regretting the most.
So with that in mind, I dusted myself off and worked out a new goal…creating a pro/con list of running and training, it became apparent that things I really enjoyed were:  spending time outside, getting in shape, the social opportunities, flexible training schedule and tshirts from the races.  It dawned on me that running a 5k race every 6 weeks or so is the perfect way to accomplish ALL the “pros” without any of the “cons”!  With this new plan in place I was able to finally move on from the half marathon disappointment.  What remained was owning up to it on my blog…and when Ellen asked me about the blog this week, I realized that I was still stewing on the apparent failure…in fact my blog was paralyzed by failure!  Solution:  confront and move on!  Done!
2013 Chardonnay 5k

2013 Chardonnay 5k

Now my 2014 resolutions!



  • Regular 5k races–and training to finish in acceptable times.  So far this has worked out great!  In my most recent race–The Girl On Fire–I finished 39 out of 161 in my age category!  Next one up is the Santa Barbara Chardonnay 5k which I’ll participate in with Prepared Girl.
  • Take up yoga.  I have already started this, but I’m on hiatus due to a lingering shoulder injury.  Once I’m fixed up, I’ll resume yoga.
  • Africa!  Tickets purchased, safari secured, tentative Cape Town plans made…Can. Not. Wait.
  • Body cleanse/detox.  Wrapped that bad boy up in the first week of January!
  • Attend the annual Foundation Fighting Blindness conference in Denver (tickets & hotel booked!)
  • Participate in the 2014 Santa Barbara Vision Walk event on April 26 (Meghan’s Posse is geared up and ready to go!)
  • Learn iMovie.  Does anyone have any tips on figuring this out?  Maybe iMovie for Dummies?  An easy youtube tutorial?  Private lessons?
  • Eliminate sugar from my Earl Grey (done!)

    Meghan's Posse 2013

    Meghan’s Posse 2013

So, there it is–a full confession of failure, words of wisdom to overcome the paralysis, a challenging but workable set of resolutions for the year…

Have you experienced the disappointment of a failed goal?  How did you manage it?  Any resolutions for the year you’d like to share?

Next up:  Yosemite!





9 Responses to “Paralyzed by Failure…or, Why I Haven’t Made My New Year’s Resolutions Yet”

  1. mamainsb Says:

    Great post Pearl! Love all your resolutions for 2014. Glad you are making the running work for you!

  2. Dennis Downing Says:

    Excellent writing Pearl!!

  3. Success is often measured more by the attempt, than by the outcome. There’s no shame in your game..For sure.

  4. craftymamaE Says:

    Im super super late but I loved loved loved this!!! Good on you Pearlys. Very well done 🙂 OXOXOX Looking forward to having you home 🙂


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